Released in 2012, the Canon 5 Mark 3 is the full frame predecessor to the 5d mark 4 & incredible Canon 5ds. It can be found on the used market for anywhere from £600 to £900 depending on shutter count and condition. Considering it’s original RRP was over 2grand, that used market price represents incredible value.
Featuring a full frame 22.3MP CMOS sensor, The Canon 5d3 records 1080p video using the 1dx’s All-I compression at a impressive 91 Mbps. It is a 7 year old camera, so no 4k or high frame rate recording, but in truth that’s a compromise you’ll be willing to except for getting a full frame camera of this quality for so cheap.
The Video output, is beautiful. The colours are nice and natural, and you get a really pleasing looking image, without any heavy lifting in post at all.
That full frame sensor affords you so much in terms of usability and quality, that I’d say that alone is worth the price tag. DOF & low light performance are fantastic, making this a really versatile choice for all filmmakers.
Build quality – For what is essentially now a budget camera, is superb. It feels like a premium camera in hand, being hardy & weighty. It has certainly stood the test of time so far, the model we have here has a shutter count touching 6 figures, but still it works like new, without missing a beat & I’d go as far as to say that there’s still a number of years left yet in bodies of this age.
That build & image quality leads on to the incredible value it represents in 2019. And this is the main reason why I’m still recommending it. Getting access to a image quality this good, from a full frame sensor, for under a grand is almost a no brainer.
Ease of Use For Video – It’s not a video camera. And that really shows when using it. It quite clearly is a photographers dslr.
The video capabilities on DSLR’s have come along at such a rapid rate over the past five years, thanks in part to the 5d range, but this is truly were this camera shows it’s age, being slightly clunky & clumsy to use in video mode.
Autofocus – this is extremely sophisticated in photo modes & the auto focussing itself is fantastic. However there is no continuous AF in video mode. This servo powered AF is something that we on newer the canon bodies, and is even present on their entry level APSC cameras, but sadly it’s missing here.
Beyond those two key points, really this camera is only lacking in missing those features that have developed since it’s release, such as 4k & higher frame recording. But if those key features aren’t important to your filmmaking, then the 5d3 mark 3 may well be a great budget, full frame option for you.
So in summary, the 5d Mark 3 is a bargain of a full frame camera in 2019. It is perfectly placed for those looking for a dslr for both photo & video and also for those newer video shooters with a low budget, looking to step into the world of full frame shooting.
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